Emergency Shower Devices

All employees who might be exposed to chemical splashes shall be instructed in the location and proper usage of emergency shower units for immediate and thorough washing of the affected areas. Because some chemicals, even in small amounts, can irritate or damage the body upon contact, affected areas should be flushed with water as soon as possible, for at least 15-30 minutes to be sure there is no residue of the corrosive liquid. In the event of a major spill of a chemical, simply stand under the shower and activate the emergency shower device. IN the case of a corrosive liquid spill, employees should remove the affected portion of clothing to reduce potential contact. Removal of clothing should be done while the individual is under the activated emergency shower. After thorough washing, notify the department supervisor or area manager. Follow-up medical care needs to be provided as soon as possible, at the Fast Med Urgent Care or Watauga County Medical Center Emergency Room. Departments need to complete appropriate Workers' Compensation forms and forward them to the Workers Compensation Claims Administrator.

Emergency shower units installed in campus locations must meet current ANSI 358.1 standards and deliver tepid water to users. Emergency shower units are required to be located in accessible locations on the same level as the hazard, within 10 seconds travel distance and not more than 75 feet of where toxic chemicals are used. A hand held drench hose or personal eyewash station can be installed in laboratory or shop areas as a supplement, not a substitute, for safety showers. Devices must be identified with a highly visible sign and the area well lighted. Manual or automatic control valves must be easy to locate and readily accessible to users. When activated, flushing fluid must remain "on" without requiring use of the operator's hands. Control valves must remain activated until intentionally shut off. Devices must be routinely inspected and maintained in accordance with manufacturer's instructions. Devices must be activated (tested) weekly to verify proper operation. The Department of Energy recommends eyewash devices be flushed for at least 3 minutes each week to insure proper operation and to prevent formation of rust. Devices must also be inspected annually to assure compliance with ANSI Z358.1 maintenance and testing requirements. Inspections and tests shall be performed by department supervisors or area managers. Testing must be documented that includes the date tested and the initials of the person conducting the test.

Employees are strongly encouraged to report problems with eyewash devices located in their area to their supervisors as soon as possible. Defective or inoperable devices must be repaired as soon as possible. Contact the Environmental Health Safety & Emergency Managment Office at Extension 4008 if you have questions concerning this notice.


Emergency Shower sign